The key issues and service gaps impacting the lives of Chilliwack children and youth will be the focus of a CYC all-candidates forum on Thursday, Oct. 3, in the Neighbourhood Learning Centre.
The forum will be hosted by the Chilliwack Child and Youth Committee (CYC), a network of 24 youth and family agencies providing “leadership and advocacy” in Chilliwack for the past three decades in the delivery of health, human and social services to children, youth and their families.
The CYC has opted to host several of these meet-the-candidates, Q&A-type forums in past years for the various federal, provincial, and municipal elections, according to Dan Bibby, CYC co-chair and director for MCFD.
“The forum provides the opportunity to bring forward specific child and youth issues and service gaps that would not be addressed in other forums,” Bibby said.
A statistical backdrop to the candidates’ discussion on Thursday afternoon is the fact that 4,710 local children, or 20 per cent, are living in poverty in Chilliwack.
The candidates who show up for the afternoon forum will be asked “locally developed” questions that will bring to light the main issues and service gaps affecting Chilliwack children and youth, Bibby said.
An estimated 1,000 young people aged 13 to 18 in Chilliwack, or 15 per cent, are dealing with mental health issues daily, many of which are going untreated.
The CYC represents an innovative and collaborative network of child/youth/family agencies, Chilliwack School District, Fraser Health and local and provincial government reps, that has been recognized provincially for its work over the past 30 years.
The CYC’s federal all-candidates’ forum is Oct. 3, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Neighbourhood Learning Centre at 46361 Yale Road Chilliwack.